Today’s learning environment has a wide variety of instructional and delivery methods. The student is the primary beneficiary because of this, moreover than previous generations. This case study will discuss my preferred learning styles and how they relate to the cognitivist and constructivist learning theories. It will also discuss how the online learning environment will impact my educational pursuit.
According to the VARK questionnaire, I possess a multimodal learning style. Being a multimodal learner is advantageous, as it allows the learner to adapt their style to each learning situation (Robertson, Smellie, Wilson, & Cox, 2011). The results further displayed that I am primarily a kinesthetic, but also a visual learner. These two distinct learning styles have much in common with cognitivist and constructivist learning theories.
First, let’s discuss the kinesthetic learning style. My primary learning style, kinesthetic, can best relate to constructivist learning theory. The kinesthetic perceptual mode can be defined as one where experience and practice may be learned using all perceptual senses (Fleming, & Mills, 1992). Similarly, the constructivist approach to learning theory is characterized by interpreting reality based upon the learners’ perception of their experiences (Jonasson, 1991). By applying all available senses to the practical application of learning, a kinesthetic learner easily redefines what they know to be true based on concrete examples that are observed and the information received. This is also a great illustration of the advantage of possessing a multimodal learning style.
My second preferred learning style, visual, relates more toward a cognitivist instructional method. The cognitivist perspective states that the learner retains information through a series of steps (Good, & Brophy, 1990). By observing the concept, the learner will begin a mental process to retain the information. This relates well to the visual learning style. A visual learner possesses the ability to recreate a concept within their mind in a manner that they can better relate the information. For example, if I were to learn the manner in which a watch works, I would best learn this by opening one up and watching the gears move....